As usual, Earth Wind and Fire manage to combine a lot of different styles (relatively speaking) for what is essentially pretty soul with touches of disco, world music and jazz. Though they are always slightly too slick for me, I find their diversity extremely refreshing compared to their contemporaries. But something about this album isn’t working as well for me as some of their other albums of the time. (I should note that it’s been a while since I’ve listened to those.)
As usual, the music is pretty catchy. One of the many things this band has going for them is their catchy songs. As many others have noted, the album is more overtly religious than most of their other records. That makes sense given the title and because its in part a tribute to their producer who died while they were making it.
The album feels a little more streamlined than some of their earlier records, which were prone to have excursions that I guess some people would describe as filler, but always appealed to me in how different from your standard ’70s smooth soul they were. There’s nearly none of that here.
Like all of their records, it still sounds good all these years later. This despite the death of their producer. They clearly had learned some lessons from him.
It’s one of their most acclaimed records. (Interesting that some people think it’s underrated.) But it just didn’t connect with me like many of their other albums have. (I should stress that I mean they connect with me to a greater degree than albums by their contemporaries. I still wish this band had an edge.) And I really don’t know why that is. I probably need to listen to them all in a row in order to figure it out. (Or even confirm if I really do feel that way.)